Pseudonym: Burke, Bob
An article by former CIA paramilitary officer, Rudy Enders, in August, 2010, stated that "Bob Simon was a former Navy underwater demolitions team (UDT) officer and a product of Massachusetts Maritime Academy."
Cosculluela stated that Bob Burke was a graduate of Kings Point (The Merchant Marine School of the United States), after graduating he served 4 years in the Navy as a member of the UDT (frogmen), was a helicopter pilot, and when completing his service in the Navy, he went to work with the CIA. Therefore, there appears to be a discrepancy between the academy/school Bob Simon attended and the one Bob Burke allegedly attended. However, Bob Simon later served in Vietnam after service in the Cuban Project. Likewise, Coscullela stated that Stevens joined U.S. forces in Vietnam.
In relation to Bob Burke/Stevens, there was a reference to Rudi, Don, Mike and others in Cosculluela's memoirs. It is possible that "Rudi" was Rudy Enders, "Mike" was Mike Nolan (the latter two went on to Vietnam as well, following their CIA Cuban service), and "Don" was Donald Hogan, who was probably George Michael Kappes. There are also a number of references to Rudi/Rudy in this memoir. Coscullela also alleged that Burke was part of the crew who went on the mission to Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October, 1962.
A cable in February of 1963 stated that a CIA officer, known as "Bob", had "several meetings with Roberto San Roman and other brigade leaders for morale purposes and to provide them with travel and per diem funds." This may have been Robert Wall though.
08/28/60: Memo from Chief, New Orleans Office to Chief, Contact Division: "1. Subject, a Cuban-born, naturalized US citizen, was introduced to me this morning by a mutual friend, a highly reputable lawyer (Walter Carroll) whom I have known for some time. In arranging for the appointment, Carroll told me that he had known (REDACTION) for several years and that he thought he was 'all right.' He said that (REDACTION) had specifically requested an introduction to CIA. 2. (REDACTION) claims to be personally anti-Castro on ideological grounds and he is anxious to do whatever he can to terminate the Castro regime in Cuba. He has recently been in touch with Raul Chibas who wishes to enlist (REDACTION) services in aid of Chibas' anti-Castro organization. The type of aid is, at present, somewhat nebulous, but the general idea is that (REDACTION) should act as a liaison agent between Chibas and Manolo Ray, who is allegedly organizing an undercover operation in Cuba. Guevara visits Cuba quite frequently in connection with his chemical business. 3. (REDACTION) is worried about jeopardizing his status as a US citizen if he should engage in any activities in support of Chibas or Ray. He seems actually to be more worried about that than his personal safety, although he realizes that he will will run serious risks. His chief reason for seeking out a CIA representative was because (REDACTION) told him that he had been in touch with the Washington office of CIA and that his efforts and plans had received our unofficial blessing. (REDACTION) said that his contacts in CIA had been with a Mr. 'B.' While I did not, of course, mention it to (REDACTION) it occurs to me that Mr. 'B' may be Mr. (REDACTION) of the DD/P staff, who was, I believe, somewhat active with Cuban dissident groups several months ago and may still be pursuing that interest..." Handwritten note: "Burke" mentioned.
12/30/60: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: REF BELL 0077 (IN 5233)* "1. Per ref, request authority, utilize Robert Clark Stevens Jr. born 29 June 29 at Durant Miss and George Michael Kappes born 6 Dec 32 at Bronx, New York as captain and engineer on WAVE boat 'Seagull' until such time additional crew can be hired. Stevens and Kappes will be utilized on Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria new boat after competent crew for 'Seagull' located. Both men have crewed Fernandez boats during past few months and considered highly competent. 2. Kappes already has POA. Request POA Stevens ASAP. Plan contract each for approx $700.00 per month straight salary. C/S Comment: *HQs concurred to the use of Cubans as crew members on WAVE boat ops, but desire at least captain and one mate be PBPRIME (U.S.) contract for control and competence." For unredacted cable: https://www.archives.gov/files/research/jfk/releases/2021/docid-32408017.pdf - - - 02/08/61: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Slugline JMZIP JEAN: REF WAVE 2915 (IN 1752)* "1. Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria's 110 foot boat Tejana due arrive Key West 11 February. WAVE planning rerun OPN JEAN night 15 Feb. Fernandez plans exfil Miguel Cervera and F. Fleites of MDC as part of this OPN since MDC inside Cuba wishes designate one of them over all head of MDC replacing AMPALM-5 (Jose Ignacio Agusto Rasco Bermudez). Also plans exfil Humberto Sori Marin unless instructed differently. Request comment and authority exfil listed subjects. 2. WAVE plans use Stevens and Kappes and fill out crew with local Cubans. Request authority pay crew direct and expend funds for maintenance/operational use Tejana. Crew list will be forwarded in a separate cable. CS Comment: *Requested approval run OP JEAN." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=191667&relPageId=1
02/22/61: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Slugline JMZIP TEJANA: "1. Request crypts be assigned FOLL individuals who now crew and maintain the Tejana: A. Alberto Fernandez Hechevarria (note: became AMDENIM-1), owner. Will go on first few operations. B. Robert C. Stevens Jr., Captain. C. George Michael Kappes, engineer and operations officer. D. Lawrence J. Laborde (note: became AMDENIM-4) 27 Aug 09 New Orleans, Port Captain. Has been with Tejana for eight years and invaluable its upkeep. E. Naval Candidate 8501, senior Cuban officer aboard. F. Naval Candidate 8071, deck officer. G. Naval Candidate 8146, deck officer. H. Naval Candidate 8190, engine room assistant. Gunner. I. Eduardo Antonio Baez Ayala, 6 Aug 20, Havana, Cuba. Will be trained as gunner. J. Pedro Ernesto Diaz, 7 Nov 31, Santa Llora, diesel engineer. K. Eduardo Perez Gonzalez (note: became AMDENIM-11), 18 March 27 Santiago de Cuba. Ordinance man. Responsible for armament of boat. L. Rafael Casals y Fernandez de Cueto, 6 Oct 06, Cienfuegos, Cuba. Cook. M. Joaquin Powell Rubio, 7 Dec 24, Sancti Spiritus. Small boat operator (catamaran and/or raft from Tejana to shore) and gunner. N. Antonio Cuesta Valle (note: became AMDENIM-14), 13 June 26, at Santiago de Cuba. (Same duties as M above). 2. Request POA's SUBJ I thru N. Local ODENVY (FBI) checks negating..."
02/28/61: CIA document: Page 17: "Date: Feb 1:...Cosculluela Iduarte, Juan..." - - - 06/30/61: CIA document: Page 17: "Statement of Expenses: June 1:...Cecil Goudie Monteverde...Juan Cosculleula Iduate..." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=161101&relPageId=17 - - - Juan L. Coscullela confirmed as a CIA agent in a 1967 document: 07/09/67: Memorandum from Withheld, AC/WH/COG to DC/CI/R&A: ..."3. Listed below are the staff and agent personnel, in true name, who have been in contact with Subject and may be known to him by true name, alias or nickname...B) AGENTS...10. 201-290305: Juan Luis Coscullueia Iduate...14. 201-328507: Heriberto Sardina Del Campo (Note: AMLION-1)..." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=23819#relPageId=3&tab=page - - - 03/22/61: Cable from JMWAVE to BELL: Slugline JMZIP TEJANA: "1. At request AMDENIM-1, AMDENIM-2 and AMDENIM-3 are no longer part of Tejana crew. Presently plan utilize A-2 and A-3 for harassment operations using Tejana as mother ship. Separate cable will follow. 2. AMDENIM-10 no longer part of crew. 3. Recent crypts be assigned FOLL additional Tejana crew members: A). Naval Candidate 8032 - radio operator. B) Naval Candidate 8116 - doctor. C) Naval Candidate 8530 - boatswain. D) Naval Candidate 8074 - sailor. E) Naval Candidate 8233 - sailor. F) Naval Candidate 8503 - engineer. G) Naval Candidate 8242 - engineer assistant." https://www.maryferrell.org/showDoc.html?docId=35248&relPageId=2
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate collected in six periods, of my life Brochures I to VI included: Page 99 (Spanish to English translation): ..."Upon returning to the ship on Stock Island, the captain agreed with my return and new faces of Americans appear on the ship. The most Robert C Stevenson (with the alias of Bob Burke) and Grayston Lynch move with authority in the Terminal in which the yacht 'The Tejana' is also docked. An old subchaser 110 feet with mixed crew but whose commander is former ship captain Armando Rodriguez Alonso whom I didn't know personally but of which I have great admiration. Because of their service sheet in the army, they in the Tejana made operations along the coast (of) Northern Cuba..."
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 148 (Spanish to English translation): ..."Our assigned instructor was Robert C. Stevens (aka Bob Burke) and they were two or three times per week, they picked us up at 6 p.m. in the afternoon and we returned at dawn the next day. The boat a catamaran of 18 feet in length with two Mercruiser engines of 100 HP each. They called him 'The Black Cat', the boat had a frank low board (18") that allowed the quick access of the frogmen its draft was less than 4', his painting was black with paint...For me it was a new concept of coastal night navigation identifying raisins and channels by his silhouette, Silva as a fisherman - in his village -natal Bahia Honda before joining the Navy had a sixth sense to identify them in the darkness of the night. Bob soon identified with us and offered us his experience gained as (a) frogman UDT of the Navy, also participated the frogmen (Cantillo, Pruna and Fonts), as well as the San Roman command (commando) team...Bob was a graduate of Kings Point (The Merchant Marine School of the United States), after graduating he served 4 years in the Navy as a member of the UDT (frogmen) was helicopter pilot, when completing his service in the Navy, he went to work with the Company (CIA) as others of his companions (Rudi, Don, Mike and others)...Already in the month of October they send us Silva and my person with the catamaran to the base of New Found Harbor in Big Pine Key and we were accommodated aboard the PT Susan Ann of Leslie Nobregas, since they did not want us to mix with the crews of the Air Sea Rescue 'The Barber' who belonged to Cecil Goudie, both crews shared the facilities of the Base and Bob are appointed to the front of this facility although Goudie's staff was still managing it."
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate collected in six periods, of my life Brochures I to VI included: Page 154 (Spanish to English translation): ..."5. The 'fiasco' of the ASR The Barbero and last mission of this unit with the Company: It is the first week of December 1961, an operation assigned to the ASR The Barbero as a support unit and the catamaran: Black Cat as intermediate, the objective was a sabotage of Matahambre's mines in Pinar del Rio, the assigned group was Roberto San Roman's. The Pt Susan Ann was not used because it was in the construction phase to enable some sealed rubber fuel tanks that would increase its radius of action. Work done by Carpenter Torres on the same base pier. Bob the American has a hidden letter, until the last minute he only notifies part of the crew so that they can introduce themselves, but not their captain and navigator and other crew...My person is ordered to take over the LCI Barbero (with or without the authorization of the owner Cecil Gaudie) was an order issued by the him, he also warns me that he would participate in the operation on board Barbero as an observer. I give my agreement but I do record that if you have any mistrust in my command or person and I remember the current policy (Native Americans were forbidden to get directly involved in the operations)..." - - - Page 178: ..."The October crisis surprises us in Maraton and although all maritime units had been called to Puerto we in the Hilda Maria we went to sea with the V20 in tow proceeding to Anguilla Cay waiting for events. Bob accompanied us and he gave us a short training in case of being exposed to radioactivity atomic attack product, covering ourselves with the white sheets of the berths to protect from the radioactive rain. Finally we return by order of the headquarters on October 26..."
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 181: ..."My last operation with Angelina is done on February 2 to 10, at the present return I resign as Chief in charge of the group before Bob who gave me a super-good evaluation and then I raise over official channels to reach the Navy Department, which was achieved by how much in the last test with the naval intelligence lie detector. They had knowledge of almost all my history. Bob said goodbye to me, inviting me to dinner with Rosa where I wish myself the best in me new career. I receive a revolver SW Special detective of those who were given to the infiltrators and two books of when he served in the Navy/Navy Leadership & Division Officer Guide...Robert C. Stevens alias Bob Burke: my immediate superior and faithful friend there are no words to describe the bonds of friendship that he knew how to establish..." - - - Page 184 (Spanish to English translation): "Continuation of Operational Annexes...October 24 to 30, 1962: Boats (two) Hilda Maria (nursery as a mother ship), Intermediate: V20. Mission: Infiltration of (team of two and a local practitioner, mission canceled by the base by the Rocket Crisis. Crew: J. Cosculluela, Carlos and Juan Nunez, Marcial Aguila, Osvaldo Coello, Raul Quesada and Bob Burque (Note: Probably Burke). Operating Time: 7 days...December 4 to 13, (1962): Boats: Hilda Maria boats (fishing nursery), Intermediate: Boston Whaler. Purpose: Ambush sigma enemy area of Anguilla, Sal Cay is visited. They are approached. Fishing vessels registering them, all of them they come from Miami, area of the Bank, without finding enemy sigma. Canonca abandoned lighthouse where it is suspected enemy observer presence. Crew: Bob Burke, J. Cosculluela, Pepe Valdez, Raul Quesada, Mario Nodal, Rogelio Hernandez, Osvaldo Coello. Operational time: 10 days..."
02/06/63: Cable to JMWAVE: Slugline GYROSE BRIGADE SITREP: REF WAVE 4132: Page 2: ..."4. Re WAVE 4043, funds forwarded UFGS 364, dated 19 May 61 and turned over to CRC. Check CRC re disposition. Advise how question monies arose since brigade leaders have not mentioned subject during meetings WASH with U.S. officials. FYI, KUBARK (CIA) officer, known to them as 'Bob', had several meetings with Roberto San Roman and other brigade leaders for morale purposes and to provide them with travel and per diem funds..."
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 185: "SERVICE RECORD OF THE BLACK CAT: Previous to the Bay of Pigs the CAT was tested on a successful operation to exfiltrate two high ranking members of the Castro Government (Raul Chibas and his wife) and the crew who operate the boat were all Americans ex-UDT personnel since the company at that time do not trust the Cubans for such type of mission due the difference political criteria among the Cubans (Batistiano & ex Fidelistas). After the Bay of Pigs the 'Black Cat' was assigned to work as the intermediate craft for the group under the command of Grayston Lynch (Gray) and his maritime advice Robert C. Stevens. Their base were in Big Pine Key in Newfound Harbor, who have a motel for living quarters and a large slip for docking several crafts. The place have been used by the CIA under Cecil Gaudie administration who have the crash boat ASR Barbero and the yacht Polo and after the invasion the PT Susan Ann and the yacht Wasp (a prowler 26 foot) whose owners were the Nobregas family operating under the Montecristi Revolutionary Movement. J. Cosculluela and Reynaldo Silva as skipper and assistant were the first Cubans recruited to operate the boat to work with the UDT team of veterans of the Bay of Pigs (Cantillo, Pruna, Fonts) and the commando team of Roberto San Roman (all veterans of the Brigade). At that time there was (2) commando teams, the San Roman Team and the Miguel Orozco under the jurisdiction of Rip (all members of both teams have distinguished (themselves) during the Bay of Pigs invasion and were recruited for above reason)...The Black Cat and his crew done also operations to infiltrate and exfiltrate clandestine team with other vessel of the CIA maritime fleet (The Susan Ann, The Barbero, The Seagull and later the Cuttlas) towing the cat and dropping in a pre arranged point. Reynaldo Silva continue as his skipper when Cosculluela was transfer as skipper of an intermediate craft..."
My Memoirs by Captain Juan L. Cosculluela Iduate: Page 217 (Spanish to English translation): "Now a new decision required that I be honest with myself and act according to my consciousness. For these purposes, I communicated telephonically with Otto Giner and asked me to I would find out if the Company had employment for me in an intermediate unit and that it required the same economic compensation equal to that of an ensign $550 per month. Otto explained to me that Bob was no longer working in the Company but Rudy, YES and that I would answer the next day. Indeed, the next day I receive a telegram from Otto telling me. 'The Company has a place for you under your conditions, we are waiting for you'..." - - - Page 229: ..."Temporary work done pending another opportunity. With Oliva 'The RECE' and its brief history; Meeting with Bob and his suggestion to return to US Navy under his command in the Viet Nam/ Mi river units. Official active duty application for Viet Nam; Navy refusal but offer by CIA staff to navigate with Military Sea Transportation as 3rd official transporting war material from the USA to Vietnam. Offer not accepted..." - - - Page 247: ..."On August 19th of 1966 I became an American citizen and a few days later I met Bob (Robert Stevens) in the boat yard of Kathy EI tells me that a fellow of the Navy wants to take him and a group of volunteers to join a squad of river patrols in Viet Nan and EI is going to offer and invite me to join...'dead you want mass' I think and we agree that I make the request to Navy Department and that I send a copy of this to Bob to put pressure with his friend with the degree of Commander. So I proceed and after a 5 week wait I receive the letter from the Navy Department thanking me offer but declining my request. Something similar happened to Bob..."
08/25/2010: Article by Rudy Enders: Titled: With the CIA in Vietnam: Page 2: ..."We were handed tickets in Miami. Our group included me, Mike Nolan, Bill Watkins, and Bob Simon. Mike was an old Southeast Asia hand. He had been recruited during the Korean War when the Agency hired all the paramilitary officers they could find. Being a former professional football player with the Los Angeles Rams, Mike met the recruiting criteria; strong, aggressive and brave. However, like all quick-start programs, most of these contract officers were axed when the Korean War ended. Mike, however, survived and was sent to Laos. Afterwards, he spent many years in hardship posts usually reserved for what insiders call 'knuckle draggers.' A term Agency Foreign Intelligence (FI) officers coined to advertise their intellectual superiority compared to rough and tumble paramilitary types like Mike Nolan. Bill Watkins came to CIA from the Marine Corps... He had been pilot and was selected for the elite spy career trainee (CT) program. Miami was his first assignment where he served as a paramilitary operations officer. Bob Simon was a former Navy underwater demolitions team (UDT) officer and a product of Massachusetts Maritime Academy. He was the one who convinced me earlier to stay aboard during the Cuban show. Although the four of us came from different backgrounds, we were now heading in the same direction." https://www.air-america.org/files/documents/reviernam_1.pdf